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Chapter 11. Internet and TCP/IP Connecti... > Choosing an Internet Service Provide...

Choosing an Internet Service Provider

Several different kinds of businesses offer Internet connections, including large companies with access points in many cities, smaller local or regional Internet service providers, and online information services that provide TCP/IP connections to the Internet along with their own proprietary information sources (I'm talking about AOL here, of course).

ISPs are a lot like long-distance telephone companies. First of all, almost all of them are simply selling access to a fast connection they bought from some other ISP. Very few so-called "Tier 1" providers are out there—that is, ISPs that actually have high-speed data networks across the country and to the rest of the world. Then, each has its own set of rate plans to choose from, so different from each other that there's no simple way to compare them.


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